Monday, April 11, 2022 - 10:00 AM



Ike Tyler, Chairperson

Roy Holzer, Vice-Chairperson


Chairman Tyler called this Economic Development/Planning/Publicity Meeting to order at 10:00 am with the following Supervisors in attendance: Clayton Barber, Stephanie DeZalia, Derek Doty, Shaun Gillilland, Charlie Harrington, Roy Holzer, Ken Hughes, Steve McNally, Noel Merrihew, Jim Monty, Tom Scozzafava, Matthew Stanley, Ike Tyler, Joe Pete Wilson, Davina Winemiller Margaret Wood and Mark Wright. Robin DeLoria had been previously excused.


Department Heads present: Dan Palmer, Anna Reynolds and Mike Mascarenas (11:07). Dan Manning was absent.


Deputies present: Dina Garvey


Also present: Jody Olcott - IDA, Jim McKenna and Mary Jane Lawrence - ROOST, and Laurie Davis - Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Bruce Misarski - HAPEC. Aurora McCaffery, Essex County Historian was absent.


TYLER: Economic Development Committee, Jody.





The first item on the agenda was Industrial Development was Jody Olcott reporting as follows:


OLCOTT: Alright, so the project on the table today, is this Peaks at Lake Placid Project; which is considered a ED project, economic development, as well as housing. Iíve been working on this with Supervisor Doty since he got into office in January, heís been working on it really, since last fall. Obviously, it is the reuse of the Cell Science Center, which has sat vacant for about 15 years now. The Town has really been instrumental in negotiating what they want in terms of low income housing there. Kind of broke it out to you on my project sheet, itís 265 apartments, a majority of those apartments are going to be 2-bedroom, 40 of which will be offered to low to moderate income residents and then a majority of those will be offered at most, 150% of area median income. So, area median income, which Iím learning, Iím not in the housing trade like Bruce is, but what is $72,400.00 is the average median income here in Essex County. So, 150% of that is like $108,000.00 or something like that. So, thatís in terms of where we are with the apartments. Thereís 90 condos in this project and I kind of gave you a summary of timing, obviously, youíre probably familiar with Joe Burrell, heís the Whiteface Lodge, heís done the Out Post where Price Chopper is in Lake Placid, some really great projects for them, 14 jobs, I know Iím going fast, but I kind of sent you a summary, just so you could have an opportunity to look at it. They are asking for sales and use tax exemption. So, the total project, if you encompassed the apartments and the condos, is $77 million. Theyíre asking for about $2.8 million in sales tax exemption. Itís hard to calculate, you know, the ancillary economic benefits of a project like this. I mean, obviously, itís going to be a big boom to Lake Placid, theyíre going to have housing available and people coming and going. One thing that I absolutely could calculate out was, if the condos sell at the projected $67 million, obviously and we just use a rough number $40 million in mortgages, that obviously would be revenue to the County in terms of mortgage recording tax and thatís, itís hard, you know what I mean, when you try and give you good numbers like calculations and stuff like that, I think thatís a fair number that you could potentially get in the next couple of years, in terms of mortgages filed. I know Derekís been up to the project a few times, recently as last week and met with Joe. I think itís a good project. We supported it at the IDA. I think the town has worked closer with them, in terms of what they specifically want, so I donít know if you want to talk about that?


DOTY: The only thing that I think Iíd like the Full Board to know, is that itís the first time I ever known of our Town Board putting in the application for a higher density for that property with the Adirondack Park Agency and it was a direct move to not only support a huge housing project that is deed restrictive, no short-term rentals will be allowed on that property, density was increased, workforce housing was adhered to. Joe has actually given us more than the original document, instead of 37 units, weíve bumped it up to 40. Weíve met, briefly, in a move that Joe anticipates, subdividing the property into like 5 different lots, so that banking and financing is more possible. Itís such a huge project that I even question the $77 million, because with building materials now, up anywhere from 30% to 40%, I know that project will be in excess of $100 million. The tax benefit to the Town will equate to, probably minimally, $800,000.00 a year, once itís built. I think our worry on the Town level is that we donít want this project to stretch out into 10 years or something like that. So, as we move forward, we will work together with Joe, so that the phases that could be built first, to give him equity, might make sense and I guess what I am going with that, heís kind of bound now to build workforce housing first and in the scheme of attracting financing, that probably doesnít make sense. Letís let him build some units where he can resell, build and get some equity, so a few more banks may consider coming on or private investors or whatever. Meantime, not to make light of workforce housing, but we have 60 units going on, right now, at McKenzie Overlook with Reagan Development, that will be online this coming fall. Thatís huge for our area, right behind it is Homestead Development with Fawn Valley, that will be the first project in the State that basically brings about 26 units, I think it is, that will be for sale and people will have to qualify like this same project, AMI qualified and they will have the benefit of buying those units at cost. There will be some deed restrictions, but itís exciting, really for the whole State to see how this project goes and is a success. Anyway, Jody and the office have been unbelievable to work with.


OLCOTT: And Supervisor Doty is correct. There, obviously itís a phased project, he has not secured $77 million. He has secured the financing for the first phase of the project. So, what we anticipate, which will be probably a lot of paper trail, is he will build the first 101 apartments and then start, obviously getting those leased out and bank financing for the other phases comes as tenants are secured and stuff like that and the same thing with the condo sales. As they do resales, it opens up the availability for more financing and thatís how we will work through the steps of it. So, the first $19 million for the first 101, Supervisor Doty is right, I did talk to Joe this morning and supply issues are obviously a problem, so we just talked in terms. I know piping for the infrastructure was ordered last September, it was delivered this weekend. Anderson Windows are 52 weeks out and I said, roundabout, can you give me an increase of construction pricing? And he said, theyíre saying 22%. So, this $77 million, could be obviously off by the time itís finished.


DOTY: Jody, one last question, are you confident with the 265 as a final number? Because there was discussion on one major building being eliminated, 55 units?


OLCOTT: From my understanding and the latest I have, weíre confident in that number.


DOTY: Okay


OLCOTT: I think there was some questions on square footage per unit and I think thatís been corrected.


DOTY: Okay


OLCOTT: But, I mean things change and it could change.


DOTY: Right, thank you for everything.


OLCOTT: Yeah, I mean the Town has really taken the lead on this in terms of what they want.


HUGHES: Hi Jody, good morning.


OLCOTT: Good morning.


HUGHES: Iím trying to keep it, so I apologize if I ask a redundant question. At the beginning of your presentation you spoke about low and moderate income housing, is that guaranteed in perpetuity? So, that those houses, that housing will always be for low and moderate?


OLCOTT: Yes, that is the townís approval through the townís zoning/planning.


HUGHES: Okay, great.


OLCOTT: So, 265 units, 40 are set aside for 120% area median income and the remaining is 150%. So, I gave you a range of 120% means an annual family income of $86,000.00 and worst, at 150% is a $108,000.00.


HUGHES: Quick question, who sets those guidelines? Who vets it and who executes it?


OLCOTT: That is HUD sets those numbers and the Town actually, Emily, who is completely on top of making sure that they are income qualified for the 40 units and the remaining units.


MCNALLY: Will those 40 units be included in the Phase One build?


OLCOTT: Of the 101 units that are coming in Phase One, 15 of those units. So, then the remaining balance of the 164 units, the 25 comes out of there.


MCNALLY: What happens if we never get Phase Two, Three and Phase Four?


TYLER: Never happens.


MCNALLY: Never happens?


DOTY: Thatís true




MCNALLY: It seems like Phase One is 101 apartments and then we have Phase One condos, weíre going to make our money back on our condos at 76, why isnít Phase Two, the 164 apartments and 14 condos going? I would feel better if those 40 low income came in at that first phase.


DOTY: You might feel better to know that if everything isnít met, the Town has an option with the agreement, to take everything back.


MCNALLY: On all four phases?




OLCOTT: Now, just keep in mind, when we give incentives, like we call these local incentives, whether itís sales tax exception, mortgage recording or pilot, at the end of each year we do an audit of the project to determine if theyíve met their conditions and we have a claw back provision where we can take back the incentives granted. So, if they received sales tax exemption on the first phase and we werenít happy with it, then we have the ability to claw that back.


MONTY: I understand DOT had requested a change to the intersection on Route 86 and I think itís Barn Road, is that part of the first phase of this plan?


DOTY: I would suspect that is only between the developer and DOT. Thatís not written in our agreements.


OLCOTT: I havenít seen anything, thatís new to me. I will say this project has probably been 3-4 years in the making and I think itís changed a lot. At first it was swaying towards University Games, now with the realization that obviously theyíre not going to make that.


DOTY: Unfortunately, that was the first phase that the development was supposed to satisfy and that was to use whatever housing was built for the athletes and then convert, none of us saw a pandemic coming. As unfortunate it is, we need to work together to make sure this thing finishes.


TYLER: So, we need a resolution?


WINEMILLER: I have a question.


TYLER: Oh, we have another question, Ms. Winemiller, Iím sorry.


WINEMILLER: Thatís okay. Can you tell me what the rent would be?


OLCOTT: Yes, so, Iím learning about, like I said, Iím not in the housing industry, so I learning about what is applicable. So, a 2-bedroom, the rent limit would be $834.00, a 3-bedroom would be and I got these numbers at Housing or maybe from Emily, up at the Town, somebody in the housing market, not me. So, apparently itís set, itís set based on the income, so itís a certain percentage of your income each month.


WINEMILLER: And does this include the, does it include anything?


OLCOTT: I donít think it includes utilities.


WINEMILLER: Okay, so on top of these amounts the renters have to pay; heat, lights, water, sewer?


OLCOTT: Iím pretty sure, Iím not 100% positive, I donít have the answer to that.


WINEMILLER: Because, thatís really a lot of money.


OLCOTT: A lot, yeah.


WINEMILLER: So, is it really low income housing if thatís the case?


DOTY: Everything is based on accepted AMI rates that are put forth by HUD. Thatís the basis for how we start a project like this.


OLCOTT: I can ask, I can go back and ask Bruce or Emily in the Town, if the utilities and all the other overhead expenses are included in that number. Just looking at a 2-bedroom at $830.00, I canít imagine that it is. I mean how could you even build it and get your money back?




WINEMILLER: No, I understand, itís unfortunate.


MONTY: I kind of think, Davina that a lot of depends on location, cost of living in Lake Placid is sustainably higher than the cost of living in North Hudson or Lewis.


WINEMILLER: Absolutely


MONTY: Or even St. Armand.


WINEMILLER: But, it sounds to me, if itís based on, like what did you say, about $80,000.00?


OLCOTT: Yeah, I mean 120% of our area median income is $86,000.00.


WINEMILLER: So, those people would not qualify, Mike, right, for any HUD or HEAP or anything like that? At $86,000.00?


MASCARENAS: It would depend on how many lives in the household, but likely not.


WINEMILLER: Likely not.


OLCOTT: Mike, do you know about these housing numbers?


MASCARENAS: I just walked in.


OLCOTT: Somebody answer, not me.


MASCARENAS: I would have to look at them, I donít know.


OLCOTT: I donít know, I wish Bruce or somebody was here. Oh, he is, I couldnít see you, Scozzy was in the way. Do you know the answer to these questions?


WINEMILLER: Bring Bruce up here.


PALMER: Come on up, Bruce.


TYLER: Bruce, youíve got to come up.


OLCOTT: Bail me out here.


MISARSKI: So, sure at 120% AMI, certainly, what did you say $840.00?


OLCOTT: I was saying 120% would be $86,000.00 and thatís 150% is at $108,000.00.


MISARSKI: Well, certainly a 2-bedroom at the rate you quoted is very affordable.


OLCOTT: Well, this is what Iím using, Iím using these numbers. Is that what Iím supposed to be using?


MISARSKI: Well, I thought the question was, what are they getting for these rents?


WINEMILLER: Right, whatís the rent?


MISARSKI: That would be a question to the developer. I have no idea.


OLCOTT: But, if it has to adhere to, isnít that what this is, the fair market rents?


MISARSKI: So, affordability is 30% of your monthly income. So, we would take that $86,000.00 figure out what that 30% of the monthly is. Yes, utilities are usually included of what we consider affordable, affordability of really at 30% of whatever the personís level in income is.




MISARSKI: So, we all have, we all should have a housing budget thatís within 30% of what our incomes are.


OLCOTT: Okay, so weíre getting there, so $86,000.00 on the low end, that would be $26,000.00 is your annual housing budget. So, if you divided that by 12, are you sure?


MISARSKI: They could be getting over $2,000.00 a month for rent.


OLCOTT: Thatís exactly what it is, itís $2,100.00.


WINEMILLER: Okay, so that would include utilities?


MISARSKI: We donít know what theyíre asking, what their rent level is.


OLCOTT: Yeah, I didnít get into the specifics, because the Town has Emily up there.


WINEMILLER: So, the Town has an agreement with them at these rates, and whatever they turn out to be for that?


DOTY: You bet.




MISARSKI: So, it would be affordable for people up to 120%, so that is the limit and obviously, all of those people that qualify are going to be less than limit, you know still $2,000.00 a month is a lot for an apartment, for anybody.


WINEMILLER: Right, it is, for anybody. But, if that includes the utilities, that makes more sense.


MISARSKI: And fortunately Lake Placid utilities are not a big issue, the electric rates, youíd be shocked, us National Grid payers would be shocked to see what Lake Placid people pay.


TYLER: Alright, moving on now, weíve got to move on.

Alright, weíre looking for a mover? Youíve got a question, Mr. Scozzafava?


SCOZZAFAVA: So, weíre talking just the sales tax exemption? They havenít asked for a property tax exemption?


DOTY: No, at one point we discussed mortgage tax exemption, but the history in North Elba is to leave that totally alone, unless it becomes an issue further down the road, I prefer to leave it just as sales tax exemption.


OLCOTT: Weíve done similar on any of the hotel projects in Lake Placid.


TYLER: Mr. Merrihew moves, second? Ms. Wood.



Merrihew, Wood


TYLER: All in favor, aye? Opposed?


OLCOTT: Thank you


TYLER: Thank you, anything else? Thank you







††††††††††† The next item on the agenda was Community Resources with Anna Reynolds reporting as follows:


REYNOLDS: Good morning, the first thing today is a resolution, we did an RFP about 2 months ago, now, reviewing the responders, we would like to authorize the Purchasing Agent to award the RFP for $44,708.00 to a company called GhB Geospacial, for the digitizing of the boundaries from the local zoning, town overlays and this will help to set up the system for the water and sewer district boundaries. So, weíre going to get as far as we can with the RFP dollar figure of $44,000.00, as far as we can for all the towns and this will be covered under the Local Government Efficiency Grant, which will expire next May. So, we want to get as much as we can into the grant over the next course of the year.


TYLER: Questions? Mover? Mr. Holzer, second? Ms. DeZalia



Holzer, DeZalia


TYLER: All in favor? Opposed?


REYNOLDS: There are 3 referrals, the first the Town of Ticonderoga, a special use permit and site plan review on County Route 48, a solar project, Pivot Solar. They will have to obtain a right-of-way permit for Essex County and once the permit is executed, there will no impact to Essex County property, therefore, I recommend a letter of no impact, based upon the permit executed.


TYLER: Mr. Merrihew, second? Mr. Hughes.





††††††††††† The following motion was made by Supervisor Merrihew.


††††††††††† Where, the Essex County Planning Board has considered the following GML 239 referrals at its regular meeting on April 11, 2022.


††††††††††† REFERRAL††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† PROPOSED ACTION

Town of Ticonderoga - Pivot Solar ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††special use permit & site plan review ††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††† Whereas, none of the referred, proposed actions directly impacts a county road or county property.


††††††††††† Be It adopted by the Essex County Planning Board that no recommendation or comment on the said referral shall be or hereby is made, after a right-of-way permit is obtained from Essex County and the respective referring bodies may take such final action as they deem appropriate.


††††††††††† This motion was seconded by Supervisor Hughes and passed on a vote of 9 in favor, and none opposed.


TYLER: All in favor? Opposed?


REYNOLDS: In the Town of Minerva thereís an area variance for a single family home located on Minerva Lake Road. The variances do not impact Essex County, therefore a letter of no impact may be submitted.


TYLER: Mover? Ms. Wood. Second? Ms. DeZalia





††††††††††† The following motion was made by Supervisor Wood.


††††††††††† Where, the Essex County Planning Board has considered the following GML 239 referrals at its regular meeting on April 11, 2022.


††††††††††† REFERRAL††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† PROPOSED ACTION

Town of Minerva - John Hausman †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††Area Variance ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††† Whereas, none of the referred, proposed actions directly impacts a county road or county property.


Be It adopted by the Essex County Planning Board that no recommendation or comment on the said referrals shall be or hereby is made, and the respective referring bodies may take such final action as they deem appropriate.


††††††††††† This motion was seconded by Supervisor DeZalia and passed on a vote of 9 in favor, and none opposed.


TYLER: All in favor? Opposed?


REYNOLDS: The Town of North Elba and the Village of Lake Placid have a joint land use code, each municipality submitted a referral. So, the first, the Town of North Elba, I reviewed the materials and I recommend a letter of no impact to the Town of North Elba.


TYLER: Mr. Holzer, Mr. Doty






The following motion was made by Supervisor Holzer.


††††††††††† Where, the Essex County Planning Board has considered the following GML 239 referrals at its regular meeting on April 11, 2022.


††††††††††† REFERRAL††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† PROPOSED ACTION

Town of North Elba††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Zoning / Planning law amendments†††††††††††††

††††††††††† Whereas, none of the referred, proposed actions directly impacts a county road or county property.


Be It adopted by the Essex County Planning Board that no recommendation or comment on the said referrals shall be or hereby is made, and the respective referring bodies may take such final action as they deem appropriate.


††††††††††† This motion was seconded by Supervisor Doty and passed on a vote of 9 in favor, and none opposed.


TYLER: All in favor? Opposed?


REYNOLDS: And the Village of Lake Placid, again, the joint land use code. I received the referral and reviewed the materials and a letter of no impact it warranted.


TYLER: Mr. Winemiller. Second? Mr. Doty.





The following motion was made by Supervisor Winemiller.


††††††††††† Where, the Essex County Planning Board has considered the following GML 239 referrals at its regular meeting on April 11, 2022.


††††††††††† REFERRAL††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† PROPOSED ACTION

Village of Lake Placid††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††Zoning / Planning law amendments†††††††††† †††††††††††

††††††††††† Whereas, none of the referred, proposed actions directly impacts a county road or county property.


Be It adopted by the Essex County Planning Board that no recommendation or comment on the said referrals shall be or hereby is made, and the respective referring bodies may take such final action as they deem appropriate.


††††††††††† This motion was seconded by Supervisor Doty and passed on a vote of 9 in favor, and none opposed.


TYLER: All in favor? Opposed?


REYNOLDS: Thatís all I have today, unless someone has some questions?


TYLER: Anybody have any questions? I donít see any, madam.




TYLER: Have a fun day.




††††††††††† The next item on the agenda was the Essex County Historian, Aurora McCaffrey absent and no report was given.





The next item on the agenda was Cornell Cooperative Extension, with Laurie Davis reporting as follows:


DAVIS: Good morning, we did submit a report, so you have that. I want to just add something to it, that mark your calendars, we set September 24th as the date for the Adirondack Harvest Festival, finally back in person, using the full fairgrounds and weíre already gathering the music, food, brew tent, a huge farmerís market, if you remember, displays, talks, demos and then thereís a horse group doing barrel racing on the horse grounds. So, the entire fairgrounds should be used in that day and weíre moving ahead with plans on that, so I wanted to make sure you had it on your calendars and I hope you can all attend.

The only other thing that I wanted to talk about today, is that, if you havenít heard already, after 14 years with Essex County CCE, our Quality of Life Issue Leader, Linda Gillilland has accepted a position of Executive Director with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Clinton County and sheís going to be starting there on April 26th. Her last day with us will be April 25th. Weíre really proud of her for this accomplishment. Itís a great chance for her to spread her wings and be challenged in other, in a whole new area. I think, sheíll be great at it and weíre going to miss her expertise, depth of knowledge on almost any topic that would come through and wildly entertaining stories of experiences living, seemingly all over the planet. Her current position as Issue Leader, the shoes are going to be difficult to fill. I wanted to, you know, have you all rest assured that we are preparing to step up and fill those various positions, weíll try and figure that out very soon. Weíre hopefully on the verge of hiring a new Executive Director, hoping we have an announcement by the end of April, mid-May, should be coming up. So, the CCE staff would like to express their congratulations and appreciation to Linda and we request that the Essex County Board of Supervisors pass a resolution recognizing her many varied and Extension contributions to the constituents of Essex County and CCE.


TYLER: Moved by Ms. DeZalia, unanimous second, thank you.



DeZalia, unanimous


DAVIS: Thank you very much, any questions?


TYLER: Any questions? I donít see any, thank you.


DAVIS: Thank you




††††††††††† The next item was the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), with Jim McKenna and Mary Jane Lawrence reporting as follows:


LAWRENCE: Good morning, so I have just a couple of updates. First and foremost, thank you to the Supervisors that met with Jim and I on Friday, as we mentioned before and our commitment in 2022 and moving forward is to meet with our representatives in each of our 18 towns, multiple times a year to better understand the needs.

Weíre planning Adirondack Day, again, in the Legislative Building in Albany. Thatís where we highlight all the Adirondack Region to the elected officials and their staff. That will be May 9th.

All of you that live in the Lake Champlain Region, hopefully, have seen the new guide that came out. Speaking of the Lake Champlain Region, we do have a new position at ROOST thatís starting at the end of the month, itís the Southern Essex County Regional Marketing Manager, her name is Isabelle Bureau. Sheíll be representing the Adirondack Hub. The four towns in the Hub, as well as the 9 towns along the Lake Champlain Region. Sheís from Newcomb and weíre very excited to have her on board.

We met with the State Police, New York State Police, Thursday, in Albany, Jim, myself and a representative of Ironman to resolve the, how the State Police will be compensated for working Ironman, so that has been resolved and the State Police and Ironman are both satisfied that State Police will be compensated for their hours that they put forth during that race.

I think thatís it, thatís all I have on my list. The Lake Champlain website will launch in June and weíre going to be starting the Whiteface Region in the fall.


TYLER: Any questions?


LAWRENCE: One other thing, Jim, you have to tell them about whatís happening to you.


MCKENNA: What? Thank you Mary Jane. I think what MJ was referring to, is I am not going to be here next monthly, likely, because Iím having a knee replacement. Is that what youíre talking about?


LAWRENCE: That is what I was talking about.


MCKENNA: Alright, thank you.


LAWRENCE: Just so not everybody was wondering what happened to you.


MCKENNA: So, I am going to talk about a couple of things, quick, we just completed something weíre going to use, we think, more around the County. This was done specifically for North Elba/Lake Placid and itís called a Designation Management Plan and what thatís about is, you know, travel is increasing, natives are restless, meaning how much is too much? What do you have to do to maintain, you know, the economy? Certainly, tourism is going to be, always a part of our economy, because of our outdoor atmosphere and attractions, but as the population grows and travel grows, a lot of our small towns, thereís a movement beginning, not only here in the Adirondacks, but globally, about tourism and how do you manage it to the benefit of the residents. So, we know weíre the first ones in New York State thatís taken this on, at least, western mountain resorts have done it, Europe has done it, but we work specifically with the Town and the Village. We brought in some people to help us put together whatís called the Designation Management Plan and thatís about making sure we sustain our economy the way it is, but not alienating our locals and to have a good community, to have a good tourist economy or any economy, you must have a good community and I know you were talking about housing. One of the big things thatís been identified in here is that you need diversity in housing, meaning different income levels have to be sought, you have to have different income levels in your communities to be big communities. Derek, you were talking about some of those big projects, thereís 3 projects, I donít know if you mentioned all. There is the low income project, through HCR, that youíre familiar, Bruce and then thereís the one Fawn Ridge thatís sort of and actually, the Peaks are in that area that thereís opportunities for people, not only low income, but you have to service all income levels. And I think thatís an example of all of our towns, because you know, we see our schools consolidating, we see school population dropping, we have to build our population base and thatís why organizations like ROOST, around the County now are focusing more than on just tourism marketing and thatís what this Destination Management Planís all about. Itís also talking about diversifying the economic thing, itís not all about tourism. What else can we bring in? Good example is certainly we know, it was JP Morgan that just announced theyíre going to allow people to work from their home forever, now. All of sudden that puts our region in a different area for economic growth. We can, soliciting remote workers, you donít have to provide factories, you donít have to provide, you have to provide housing, housingís number one, but that money comes into the economy just like a new business comes into the economy. So, weíre looking at that in this plan. Also, the event management has certainly been an issue, a lot of the, the four towns that are engaged in Ironman, you know thatís a challenge and we took a lot of time, this year, working on that, but what we plan to do is put a council together for events to really look at that long term. Another area is to align investments in the travel industry to benefit all residents in your community. So, what weíre doing, the whole purpose here is to really put together the necessary ingredients to make sure that our economies continue to grow and survive and provide the local taxes, but not alienate our population, but make our populations, the big benefit is really for the residents. You do tourism like any other economy, you do it for the residents first and then for everything else. So, thatís the attitude and approach that weíre taking now and we think itís progressive in the East of the United States, theyíve been doing it out West for a little while, but we think itís going to be the example that over the next few years, weíre going to be sharing with more of our towns in Essex County to get in front of it, not be reactive after the fact. Anything else?


LAWRENCE: No, that was good.


DOTY: Just quickly, because you were in Albany and I donít mean to be by stepping Ashley, the World University Games, but with relation to the New York State Police, can you respond, Iíve heard that up to 500 State Police are expected to be here for the World University Games, for at least that 12-day period and maybe longer, each side and knowing that Ironman is helping with the cost of the New York State Police, do you know anything about the cost for the World University Games?


MCKENNA: No, thatís a budget item and that was identified in Executive Order 185, by the Governor that that is part of hosting the event.


DOTY: Okay, I think thatís very important.


MCKENNA: It is, it is.

And the only other thing that Iím supposed to talk about, I am going to be a Keynote Speaker of whatís called the NYSTIA; New York State Travel Industry Association, but really talking about what weíve just been talking about, is how organizations like ROOST, they have to change and if they donít change and get in front of it theyíre going to be irrelevant. So, we have to do it in a way that itís community driven, region driven and itís really more about, as weíve said, itís about taking the lead in areas that effect the travel industry, because you need a good community first, whether itís housing, whether itís education, whether itís childcare, whether itís, whatever it is, to make a community, we have to engage, so thatís what weíre doing.


LAWRENCE: Do you want to touch on the World University Games, here, kind of out of time, but quickly?


MCKENNA: The next larger event with the University Games, just had the World Speed Skating University Championships, looks like volleyball is in August, I know thatís a hot spot for some people, Derek, but thatís happening in August and then, you know, the big thing coming this September, is whatís called Head of Delegation Meeting. So, all 50, thereís over 50 nations that have, at this point, indicated theyíre coming to the games next year. Thereís Head of Delegation, so weíll have, really, an international audience will be here in September, or members, three or four people from each country thatís participating, sends a preliminary delegation in to check things out, so thatís going to be a pretty big event.


HARRINGTON: I am assuming Russia will not be a part of this.


MCKENNA: Russia, at this point, is not part of the World University Games. Well, the World University Games, itís a Federation called FISU, which stands for Federation of International University Sport, theyíre based in Switzerland. Theyíve banned all Russian athletes and all Russian events, this year and they evaluate it again, come the fall, I think it is. Thatís how most of the sports organizations have been doing it.


LAWRENCE: But, right now, theyíre out.


MCKENNA: Right now theyíre out.


TYLER: Any other questions?


HARRINGTON: Yes, Iím anticipating that the War Cannon Distillery is nearing their grand opening and Iím wondering how much you are involved with that?


MCKENNA: Weíve talked about, we definitely wanted to get involved with, we talked about it the other day when we were down along Lake Champlain and guess, itís the first time I heard that itís not only going to be in Crown Point, but thereís going to be another location, too, in the County for either, maybe Iím getting it wrong, tasting or something.


LAWRENCE: And also, just so you know, Matt Cortwright from the Chamber connected us with the owner, so weíre supposed to meet with the owner the next time heís in town to get a better understanding of timeline and all the details, but we will definitely be promoting that, for sure and not only on our website and other platforms, but trying to get some 3rd party here, you know, some traveler writers, to go visit that region and really help that new business, which is very exciting.


HARRINGTON: I understand that the second location is at the former slaughterhouse in Ticonderoga.


MCKENNA: Is that where it is?


HARRINGTON: Yes, thatís where the product will be produced.


MCKENNA: That will be pretty cool.

Also, the Middlebury Women won the National Ice Hockey Championships; right?


HARRINGTON: I was there.


TYLER: Thank you, any other questions? Donít see any, thanks guys.


MCKENNA: Thank you.


LAWRENCE: Thank you


TYLER: Have a safe trip.




††††††††††† ††††††††††† The next item was the Housing Assistance Program with Bruce Misarski reporting as follows:


MISARSKI: Well, good morning, itís good to be with everybody and be here. Well, first up from the Housing Assistance Program, I have a great pleasure to introduce our newest employee, who was sitting with me on the first row there, itís Megan Murphy. Sheís been hired as our Associate Director, so this is a new position at HAPEC and sheíll be working closely with me to help advance the affordable housing needs of our low and moderate income across the County. So, just want to introduce her and thank her for joining the team.

So, just have a couple of things in housing that are happening, currently. We just recently had to go through a procurement process for our Section 8 Program and this is the first time ever that New York State has gone through a procurement for the administration of these programs and as you all know, weíve been running that program since 1978 within the County, so we had a lot of good experience with it and this fall we had to submit a proposal which was reviewed by the State and so, April 1st we got a new contract for 5 years administration of the Section 8 Program, which currently is helping about 445 families, very low income families with their rent and thatís all, every town in the County has some residents that are receiving rental assistance and often with the, the great thing about Section 8 is the subsidy is provided from HUD straight to the landlord, so often people get rent subsidies and no one really in the County knows who they are, theyíre just regular citizens that get help with their rent and it really stabilizes families, their budgets and stabilizes communities and provides millions of dollars in subsidy across the County. So, itís an economic driver and supports the rental housing, the units that we have in the County and maintains them as available rentals. So, itís a really important program.

Other things that weíve got going on; we just recently got awarded an Access to Home Program, which assists folks, up to 80% of the area median income with accessibility modifications to their homes and that could also be for rental families that need modifications and normally what those include are handicapped accessibility ramps, bathroom modifications for handicapped accessibility and those are the most prevalent repairs that we do with that funding. So, we just are getting that started, but we have a lengthy list already, so if you do have any folks that you know need that type of assistance, get in touch with us.

We are also, our Homeless Housing Program is still going on. We have money thatís supposed to last through September of this year and hopefully the State will be coming up with new funds through the ESG Program for that, but weíve been active using those funds in Jay with a couple people that were effected from the recent flood there and other folks around the County, but those funds are quickly running out, too. So, hopefully weíll have more funding for homeless assistance in the near future.

Also, running our Landlord Ambassador Program, is in full operation. That money, also will be allocated fairly quickly to help landlords get their units back in shape, so they can be re-rented after the pandemic. So, most of that money will be allocated and spent out over the next month or so.

Other than that, we do expect Community Development Block Grant funding to come up this summer, again, as an annual application round. So, if anyone is considering any housing rehab applications or other affordable housing projects that maybe CDBG eligible, you can talk to us and we can work with you to submit an application.

Are there any other questions?


MONTY: Hello, Bruce, Iím glad to see you back upright and back with us.


MISARSKI: Thank you.


MONTY: Question, I do know with confidentially, we canít know the names, but getting back to the Section 8, you said thereís 400 and some, would we be able to get a report, as to how many are in each community, because that may go a long way with us looking at our low to moderate income housing.


MISARSKI: Thatís a good idea. Yup, Iíll do a breakdown. Should I do it individually and then put it to your mailboxes or something?


MONTY: Sure, that would be great. Thank you.


GILLILLAND: Yeah, Bruce, I think also, expanding on what Mr. Monty there said, you know, if you could submit a written report, basically one page, either a chart or a summary of all the programs and where they are in the County, monthly, because, you know to increase the transparency between HAPEC and the Supervisors and whatís going on in their communities, I would really appreciate it.


MISARSKI: Yup, well do.


STANLEY: Bruce, I would really like to thank you and your staff for everything you guys have done for us and our residents after the flooding, especially a big shot-out to Angel Marvin, I know sheís not here.


MISARKSKI: Thank you


TYLER: Anybody else? Thank you Bruce.

Anything else to come before this Committee?


MONTY: I just had a couple of things, briefly, on the part of the broadband and the housing. I had a conversation with Shaun and with Anna, we would like to submit a letter of interest pertaining to Senate Stefanik, Gillibrand and Schumer, requesting $900,000.00 for broadband in Essex County. So, Iím not on the Committee, I canít offer the resolution, but Iím hoping somebody would.


TYLER: Mr. Hughes. Second? Mr. Harrington



Hughes, Harrington


TYLER: All in favor? Opposed?


MONTY: And the second thing is, weíve been meeting, as you know on a regular basis, Low and Moderate Income Housing and weíre looking for a resolution from the Board for us to begin the application to file a sole land bank for Essex County. I think weíve listened to enough podcasts and zoom meetings that we are, we think, going the single land bank and not doing a multi county land bank is the way. At our last meeting on Wednesday or Thursday of last week, without officially saying so, the underlying message was Clinton Countyís going out on their own. So, theyíre ready to submit, so I think itís time for us to begin that application process. I know weíve sent out all the information on how, what we need to do to get started. Ken and I have been working on that, along with Mike and several others. So, I am looking for a resolution for us to begin that process.


TYLER: Mr. Hughes. Second? Mr. Merrihew



Hughes, Merrihew


TYLER: All in favor? Opposed?


MONTY: Our plan is to bring the package to you in June with a presentation on what we see as our land bank for Essex County.

Lastly, I sent out an email, here, 10 days ago, requesting each one of us to come up with a picture of the housing use for your community. I really need that moving forward. Iíve had a few responses, but in order for me to know whatís going on in Schroon Lake or in Wilmington, in Minerva, I need your input so that we can compile that all and bring it forward, thank you.


GILLILLAND: Jim, thank you very much. I just, very quickly, I know weíre running late. The, after going through the last 2 years of the pandemic and several natural disasters, the Halloween storm, two floods in AuSable area and things like that, one thing that has become apparent to me and discussed it with Dan Palmer and others, in Essex County, whenever we have an event of one nature or the other, we have not, weíve done a pretty good, I guess, ad havoc job of handling our public information strategy when we go out and I think we need to move on from ad havoc to a formalize. We also have, I mean we have some departments that basically have, you know, release their own public information and press releases. You know and a lot of times trying to get coordinated between the leadership of the County or other effected departments or the towns, with the towns, as you know, has been, as I said, is normally an ad havoc process. In addition, almost every department of Essex County runs its own Facebook page. We have our own, as well as, webpages, we have our own County webpage. We have a lot of outlets and public information that are going out there, that Iím afraid that we run the risk of not having coordinating messaging going out and coordinated with the towns and so like with the flood or the damage or something somewhere, you know itís critical to all levels of government, insuring that the messaging is going out is consistent, you know and accurate. So, my thought process is and this is just food for thought for the Board, is and probably, I am thinking in our next budget development, that we ought to go with a full time, public information officer that would be responsible for coordinating during events, etc., but also, you know to make sure that we take a look at our information outlets, our Facebook pages, our Twitter accounts, our webpages and things like that. You know, if all the public information requirements that the State and Federal Government are going to require or that various governmental organizations in the past have gotten in trouble in the courts for, that actually does scare me and you know then questions come up, hey, do I have to, can I block these people on my town website and things? You know, these are the kinds of questions that come out and we need some expertise on. Our current Public Information Officer is Dan Manning and Iím not denigrating his performance on this. Actually, heís very good, we also need, you know constantly need legal counsel advice on that, but I think this is something thatís developing more and more. Weíre a more connected world now, particularly post-pandemic and we need to make sure that we do it right. So, I put that out there for your consideration, because I think we should peruse that.


WILSON: Thanks Shaun, I think that we do need coordinated, managed communication. I would definitely support that. One question, in our Recruitment and Retention Committee, weíre talking about a marketing strategy, how we communicate to the outside world, you know, Essex County and beyond that weíre a good place to live and work, would there be room for that, at all? Something like that?


GILLILLAND: Yeah, I am sure, anything that has to do with our outreach to the public. Whether it be within the County or whether it be, you know throughout the State, our public image would be the responsibility of that particular person and we would work with organizations, you know, ROOST, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Soil and Water, etc., to make sure that, one, weíre putting out good messages, correctly and also coordinated messaging and itís particularly essential if we have a disaster and we have injuries, loss of life, loss of property.


HUGHES: I sent an email over the weekend to Mr. Palmer, Mr. Gillilland about the concerns I have about the presence of our website, I know we talked about that at Recruitment and Retention, thereís still some information on there that references our previous President. So, there are sections of it that are out of date and thatís a direct reflection, unfortunately, to the outside world, the kind of organization we are and weíre better than that. With respect to this Public Information Officer conversation; which I think plays into the website and social media and the electronic and digital media, I would be more than happy to take on that responsibility of doing some research, if anybody wanted to join me in that conversation to find out what we have, that the responsibilities are to the likes of a public information officer and make a presentation to the Board in the future, I would do that.


TYLER: Thank you Mr. Hughes.


HUGHES: Anybody want to join me?


MONTY: I can barely turn my computer on.


HUGHES: If you are interested, let me know, send me an email. Iíve got some ideas already cooking and I would be happy to share those with anybody that wants to be part of that.


SCOZZAFAVA: Yeah, Iíll wait for your report, but I can tell you, no offense intended, Mr. Chairman, I donít support this. I mean, to me it reminds me of the days in Albany where Cuomo put a muzzle on any department head, every agency down there, you donít speak to the press until you go through me, first. You call DEC, you call Department of Health and you could not get a reply from anyone on anything and itís still that way in Albany and I donít what to see Essex County become an Albany.


GILLILLAND: Thatís not what weíre looking for here, in any way, shape or form, Tom.


SCOZZAFAVA: Are you going to edit every department?


GILLILLAND: Itís not editing, you know, when you want to get the message out or when you want to, if you have a lot of reporters or something are coming for questions and stuff, you want to avoid rumors, you want facts; right? Thatís what I was thinking. I mean I was a NATO Public Affairs Officer and, you know, there was nothing that, information was not restricted, information was not censored, it was just to make sure you have correct information and then, also, youíre not censored, but sensitive or personal information doesnít get out that shouldnít be put out. I mean we were dealing constantly with this HIPPA issue during the whole pandemic and Public Health did a tremendous job with that, but I just think that in this day and age of FOIL and everything else that goes on, if at some point that one of our Facebook pages or departmental things gets information on it, gets out there, that nobody knows about, nobody checked on in coordinated fashion, you know weíre looking for trouble. This is not an issue of censorship or of control, I mean.


SCOZZAFAVA: I understand where youíre coming from, I understand the world that we live in, but I donít believe it warrants a full-time, you know, Public Information Officer. I donít buy it, I mean, listen, Iíve dealt with the press plenty of times.




SCOZZAFAVA: You have also and you know, I think every one of our departments, when I go on Facebook, I see the webpage, they do an excellent job and you know, if I have a call from a reporter from the press in regards to a public health issue, social services issue, so on, emergency, I refer them to that department head or I refer them to you. So, I mean, Iím willing to listen, but I, at this point, you know I donít think I would support it, in fact, I know I wouldnít support it, today.If this came up, today, I would not support it.


GILLILLAND: Thatís why Iím putting it out there for considering in the budgeting process, right now, I think, I mean I was contacted by several companies in my own town, you know, who are making money off of towns and municipalities concerning their Facebook pages and the lawsuits, and rights to public information. These Facebook and Twitters accounts and stuff, those are permanent records and most people are delete, delete, delete and you know thatís the kind of the thing that I think we need to know the facts and tie it in with, to the IT Department, who is maintaining the County websites.


HUGHES: I see this process as akin to what took place when we had a change of leadership in Emergency Services, where Supervisor Wilson, myself and Mr. Giordano, we went and interviewed people to get a sense of what was working and whatís not working to get a better idea of how things can be improved. I see this as an opportunity to just kind of review an area, weíre an organization that has a lot of public interface and how can we communicate in an incredible way, across many different departments. Is there an opportunity to do that? Maybe not, but this is an opportunity to discover that when it has, maybe not been done in quite some time.


TYLER: Yeah, I think one of the issue that Tomís getting out is who decides what is the correct information and what isnít and if one or two persons that are deciding that, when where are ya? I donít know.


GILLILLAND: During the AuSable issue that came down and I was called and Linda Beers was like I have a Public Affairs, Public Information person and you know, no information is going out from Emergency Services, what was going out at the time. So, that particular conversation heaved me, for us, for the County, who do people reach out to for information? Who does the press reach out to for information? Who does the press coordinate with? Like any governmental public affairs office, or something, or public information office, they call in and they will refer them to the right, you know, individual or department. So, if you have DPW and Emergency Services and Public Health all involved in a situation somewhere, some sort of disaster, you know and the press wants to know whatís going on, do you want those various departments to go, you got to see this person, you got to see this person, you got to see this person, coordinated flow of information is, correct information is a difficult job in a situation like that. I guess my thought process is and I guess Iím little taken aback by the idea of censorship, I am looking at increased transparency and assurance that, if you have a major disaster and one department says, weíre going to do this, another department says to do that and then they can be at odds, when theyíre really not. So, thatís my thought.


SCOZZAFAVA: Iím not saying censorship, Shaun, okay? Iím just saying I donít like the idea of, say thereís a county issue going on and one of us is called, so Iíve got to call this individual and say, hey, listen Iíve got the press calling me?


GILLILLAND: When you do, youíve got the press calling you and an elected official wants to make sure they get the right story, whatís going on and things, who do I call, where do I get it?


SCOZZAFAVA: If itís a County issue, I tell them to call you or Dan, you know.


GILLILLAND: I understand it. I understand it, but we also call DPW, we also call the various departments and things like that or we have no idea whatís going on.


SCOZZAFAVA: Is there something that spearheaded this, recently? I mean Iím just trying toÖ


GILLILLAND: I took my personal, I took it from the lessons learned from the last 24 months of how we can do things better. We didnít fall on our face, in any shape or manner. I just think that there is a way to streamline the processes, thatís my thought. Now, whether we have a full-time, I think when youíre talking about all your social media and all your media outlets and stuff and somebody overseeing all that, it is, thatís going to be probably the majority of the personís job, but also developing a good relationship with the press. You know, weíve had several, we often have press events, Public Health, weíve had them in the last 24 months and stuff, you know if we want to reach out and get the press than we have somebody there that has a good relationship with the press.


WILSON: So, I think we canít even communicate enough. Thatís a lesson I learn every week, we can never communicate enough, but to address some of the issues that youíre talking about, I think having a communications policy makes sense, too. So, if we adopt a policy that protects the sharing of information, it helps every department head make decisions, you know I am sure that Mr. Manning would say, itís good to have a policy around, especially when we have to deal with sensitive medical information or you know, crisis unfolding, you know having a person to do the communication, but then having a policy that spells out whatís, you know, how thatís conducted. I think thatís good for the County operation in general and it protects what youíre talking about.


TYLER: Thank you, anything else?


PALMER: Government has changed the way we communicate and unfortunately that communication has become faster than what we can keep up with. We have Facebook pages. I am the administrator of every Facebook page. Nobody gets a Facebook page unless it gets administration through me. I canít tell you whatís on them, because I donít have enough time and if I, you know, I think part of the process of communicating is making sure youíre set organizationally to be able to find the information that you need. If stuff starts appearing on these Facebook pages and Iíve got to call 25 department heads to find out what exactly theyíre talking about, before the press calls me or after the press calls me, whichever the case maybe. It would be much simpler, if I just picked up the phone and said to the Information Officer, okay, why is this on? Or what is this about? Or whatís the story behind this? Because, it is moving so fast that you just simply canít, no one person can keep up with this and I think thatís part of the concept here, is you have an individual whoís responsible for managing how we portray our information, how we put our information out there and I think in the long run it will make us more efficient. I donít think this is about trying to hide anything from anybody. Iím not trying to confuse anybody, but I think it needs to be to that point where you can track down who it is thatís responsible for the information that goes out.


SCOZZAFAVA: Wouldnít the department head be responsible?


PALMER: No, itís not, really, because ultimately every department head reports to me. If they put out information that I donít know about, then Iíve got to hunt it down; right? I mean thereís no other way to do it, Iíve got to find out.


SCOZZFAVA: I mean I donít have a problem with a point person, shouldnít they clear it with you before they put it out?


PALMER: Well, thatís the problem, I mean thereís not enough time in the day for me to take phone calls from 25 department heads as they do this. I think if they had 1 information officer, that they knew, okay, if I want to put something on Facebook, I got to run it by the information officer and then if it ends up out there, all I got to do is call the Information Officer and say, okay, somethingís on DPWís site, somethingís on Public Healthís site what is it about? Again, itís just about, I think more than anything else, communicating more efficiently with the public and our world has changed. There is nothing the same about the way we do it. I mean, you know, Dan Manning really ended up as the Information Officer, when in fact his real title started out as the FOIL Officer and we needed an information officer, because lots of times when the government asks you, whoís your information officer, we just kind of tagged Dan with that title. Everything thatís related to FOIL stillís going to have to go through the County Attorney, itís got to be reviewed before it goes out, but heís also kind of taken on that role and 10 years ago, when we needed to get some information out, we sat down and wrote a press release that went out; right? We were in control of it and it went out, we didnít have 25 Facebook pages out there, nobody was communicating that way, they are now and itís harder to keep track of. Thatís the reality of where we are. I think you need to see what we propose and take a real look at it.


TYLER: I think there should be an ongoing conversation with that, especially around budget time when weíll be addressing that again. We could talk about this for a while.

Anything else to come before this Committee? I donít see anything. Have a good day, thank you.







Respectfully submitted,



Dina Garvey, Deputy

Clerk of the Board